Guest Author - Kim Wende
You've gotten a horse and now you need a trainer. Finding the right trainer will depend on your goals with your horse. Are you going to compete or do you just want a safe horse to go trail riding on? Spend the time it takes and do your research as a good trainer can be hard to find.
Finding A Trainer
*Talk to horse people in your area
*Horse publications for your area
*Postings at the feed store
*Online – Craigslist, Horse classified sites, google searches
*Horse shows – Find out who the trainers are at the show. Don't approach them right away just sit back and watch them to see how they handle the horses. Observe them when they leave the arena and see how they handle the horse when they think no one is watching. Ask their current clients what they think of the trainer. If possible observe them at a two or three shows before making an appointment with them.
Be sure to visit the trainers facility before sending your horse to them. Don't discount them if they don't have a fancy facility. Make sure it is clean and the stalls are safe. Pay attention to the other horses they have in training do they pin their ears or try to bite at you when you walk by? What type of condition are the horses in are they thin or are some of them sick?
Ask to watch a training session. If they won't allow you to watch a session then find another trainer because they probably have something to hide. Do they promise to have your horse doing all kinds of advanced movements in 30 days? If so you need to be very cautious because pushing a horse can cause several behavior problems.
Ask the trainer if they are the only one that will work with your horse or will they have an assistant work with them. Also, ask them if they keep a written record or video tape the training sessions?
Make sure you sign a contract for your protection, but don't do it at the show make an appointment and visit them at their facility. Be sure you get all of your questions answered and you feel confident in the trainer before signing the contract. Having a good client-horse trainer relationship is very important.
Another option is to find a trainer who will teach you how to work with your horse. Some trainers will even come to your facility to work with you and your horse. Honest hard-working trainers can be hard to find. Good trainers usually charge more than their competition because they get quality results. Just remember you get what you pay for. If they don't have room to take your horse in for training ask who they would recommend.